Life is full, overflowing even. Kids, work, training, house stuff, partying… it’s all good, but yup, it’s all exhausting. Unfortunately it’s when you’re in an exhausted slump that bad habits break loose and wreak even more havoc on your body and mind. Here’s what to do about it.

When you’re tired, it’s all about the C words… What are you thinking? The C words I’m talking about are caffeine, comfort food and the couch. Despite how desperately these C words are calling you, more often than not, it’s the exact opposite we need. Here are some pretty excellent suggestions that I find work well for battling through the madness:

1. Sure, it’s boring. It’s over-preached and it generally sounds like a sucky idea when you’re tired, but exercise seriously works. I’m not talking about running a marathon or your leg session at the gym. Try some power yoga or BODYBALANCE™, a brisk walk or a casual game of tennis if that’s how you roll. Just enough activity to get some endorphins pumping through your warped brain. It’s seriously the natural high you’re looking for. Just get up and do it. Now. Come on, up.

2. Once you’re back from that little workout sesh, take a shower. Obviously. I suggest you switch things up while you’re in there. Try alternating hits of cold water with very, very warm water – I don’t want to say very hot because, in the state you’re in, mistakes happen and we don’t want third degree burns! The gentle shocks to your skin and nerves should get your circulation flowing, literally cheating your body into thinking you’re more awake and ready to go than you actually are.

3. Being tired doesn’t justify four donuts and a massive iced coffee. It also isn’t what your body really wants. When you’re tired and making food choices think about whether what you’re about to consume will make you better able to cope, or send you further down the rabbit hole. Choose life, or in clearer terms, choose kale. Or blueberries. Or salmon and sweet potato and a big salad and a side of soup. Just eat some superfoods with heaps of protein and good fats, and wash it down with something that’ll pick you up, like green tea, soup or fresh veggie juice. Don’t go for something that’ll dump you on your ass, like a quad-shot latte or a chocolate milkshake (unless it’s your secret kale and cacao coconut milkshake… go crazy with that stuff). Your body is tired because it’s lacking nutrients, so don’t give it crap.

4. Add in some extra good stuff! Get tested for vitamin D deficiency, its insanely common and can affect you badly. Plus, most of us could do with a heap more zinc, b vitamins, iron, omegas… the list goes on. Get your dopey little hands on some high-quality supplements and feel the weight lifting off your shoulders. Or talk to your doctor or naturopath about what’s going to work for you.

5. Here’s the best one. And if I read it while I was exhausted, I’d probably glare at the screen or maybe laugh. But seriously, this actually works. It’s like magic… Ready for this? Stop thinking “I’m so tired” and replace it with “I’m okay, everything’s okay”. Yup. That’s the big secret. Your mind-set is the biggest part of what’s holding you back from fixing yourself. If you think you’re in a rut, you’re in a rut. If you think positive, you’ll feel positive. I know, genius.

Okay, you’ve spent long enough reading this, good job staying awake. Go do some yoga.

Diana Mills is a Les Mills Creative Director and mother of four young children. Learn more about Diana here.

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